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Frequently Asked Questions

Friday, June 14, 2024

Emergency Medical Sciences - Paramedics

1. What does EMS stand for?

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the system to provide care to those that are sick or injured in both emergency and non-emergency pre-hospital settings by licensed providers.

2. What does EMT stand for?

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is the entry-level provider in pre-hospital care.

3. What is the difference between an EMT and a paramedic?

EMTs are entry-level care providers that provide basic level care that includes:

  • CPR for cardiac arrest
  • Oxygen administration for respiratory distress
  • Oral glucose administration for diabetics with low sugar levels
  • Epinephrine auto-injectors administration for allergic reactions
  • Assisting in childbirth

Paramedics are advanced level providers who provide all of the basic level care and add skills that include:

  • Administering medications
  • Starting intravenous (IV) lines
  • Providing advanced airway management (intubation, supraglottic airways, etc.) for patients in respiratory distress or failure
  • Cardiac monitoring
  • Defibrillation of life threatening cardiac rhythms
  • External pacing of slow heart rhythms
  • Learning to assess and differentiate between patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and other events conditions that might not be life threatening

4. Is financial aid available?

Yes. Interested individuals may contact the Office of Financial Aid at (501) 812-2289 for information concerning available grants, loans,  and scholarships or visit the Financial Aid website. Remember, you can apply for financial aid even before you are admitted to our program.

Occasionally monies are available through the Arkansas Trauma System grants and scholarships are typically offered by the Arkansas Ambulance Association and from the Arkansas EMT Association through their EMS Foundation. More information can be found at the following links:

5. How long is the EMT program?

The EMT program is one semester. If you start the program in August you will finish in December. For those students that start in January you will finish in May.

6. How long is the Paramedic program?

The Paramedic program is a four-semester program. If you start the program in August you will finish in December of the next year. For those students that start in January you will finish in May of the next year. The State of Arkansas requires a current EMT license prior to being admitted to a paramedic program.

7. What is the career outlook and salary of an EMT or paramedic?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

2018 Median Pay - $34,320 per year/ $16.05 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education - Postsecondary non-degree award

Work Experience in a Related Occupation - None

On-the-job Training - None

Number of Jobs, 2018 - 262,100

Job Outlook, 2018-28 - 7% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change, 2018-28 - 18,700


8. What will I need to be eligible to test for licensure?

1. Successfully complete all requirements for all aspects of the program:

  • Didactic
  • Psychomotor and laboratory
  • Clinical
  • Field internship
  • Portfolio

2. Meet or exceed the minimum cutoff score on the end-of-course comprehensive testing within 45 days of program completion.

3. EMT candidates must successfully complete the Arkansas practical skills examination.

4. Paramedic candidates must successfully complete the end of course practical skills examination.

5. Complete the National Registry certification process.